Letter: Falmouth state rep: Invest in education

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School districts throughout Maine face state funding losses, some of them significant, in the upcoming school year. Property taxpayers in those towns would have to fill a total funding gap of $23 million to keep their schools funded at current levels.

That’s why I was proud to vote on a measure that provides $23 million for public education as part of an amended version of the tax conformity bill.

The federal government makes changes to the federal income tax code on a regular basis, and this year the changes were substantial. Maine is in the position of having to decide which changes we want to adopt in our state income tax. The measure that I supported adopts all of the federal changes for the next two years, but leaves behind the governor’s proposal to continue funding the Maine Capital Investment Credit. This credit was created during the recession for large multistate corporations, but it has not been clear whether it’s actually working. I voted to extend the credit, but only for one year, providing us time to evaluate its performance while helping our schools, teachers and students thrive in the meantime.

The $23 million we added for public education recognizes that education is key to our economic success in the long-term and keeps property taxes down. Rather than funneling our resources towards the credit and away from our students and property taxpayers, including small businesses, we need to invest in what we know works: educating our kids.

Rep. Teresa Pierce